CDC’s inability to deal with Ebola isn’t for a lack of funding

A progressive organization is out with a new issue ad blaming congressional Republicans for the Ebola outbreak. In the disgusting minute-long ad, titled "Republican Cuts Kill," the Agenda Project Action Fund uses clips of Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KY), urging more spending cuts to the federal budget. It also features footage of Obama administration officials discussing budget cuts and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) purported inability to deal with viral outbreaks.

Unsurprisingly, however, the ad is wholly misleading. The ad — meant to play on Americans’ fears about Ebola — makes note of the $446 million budget cut to the NIH funding, but the agency saw its budget increase by nearly 23 percent, adjusted for inflation, between FY 2000 and FY 2013. Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute, points out that "[b]etween 2000 and 2014, CDC outlays almost doubled in 2014 constant dollars, from $3.5 billion to $6.8 billion."

Curiously, one of the Obama administration officials in the video complains about the "right cross" being the sequester. Despite the apocalypse-like rhetoric Americans have heard about the sequester from Democrats and some Republicans unwillingness to address the United States’ fiscal problems, it, overall, cuts the rate of spending growth. If anything, the sequester can be best described as a "good start" for dealing with the growth in the federal budget, but it’s by no means going to bring about the end of the world.

The bottomline is, if the CDC can’t deal with the Ebola outbreak, it won’t be for lack of funding. The CDC’s inability to address the Ebola outbreak runs much deeper. It is, as FreedomWorks President and CEO Matt Kibbe explained this morning on C-SPAN, a "failed agency."